xmas cake 88.
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CHRISTMAS CAKE: Take 1â„2 lb. of butter and 1â„2 lb. of castor sugar and beat them to a cream, add the peel of a lemon, grated, and 5 eggs, one at a time, beating well after the addition of each egg. Next add 1â„2 lb. of self-raising flour, 1â„4 lb. of cleaned currants, 1â„4 lb. of stoned and chopped raisins, 1â„2 lb. of cleaned sultanas, 2 oz. of shredded almonds, and 1 oz. of cherries, cut in halves. Have ready a cake-tin lined with 2 layers of greased paper, and after beating the mixture very thoroughly, put it into the tin and bake for 2 hours in a moderate oven. It is important to note that the oven must not be too hot for this mixture; also that the cake must not be moved until it is done or the fruit will drop to the bottom instead of being evenly distributed.
KEEPING THIS CAKE: When the cake is quite cold brush it over with a little brandy or rum, wrap in grease-proof paper, and put it into an air-tight tin until a few days before it is required. Then ice it. As soon as the icing has hardened the cake is ready for eating.
SUGAR ICING: Allow 5 oz. of icing sugar to the white of 1 egg and a little lemon juice. First whip the white of egg to a really stiff froth, then beat in the sugar and add the lemon juice by degrees. The icing should be spread with a large flexible knife, and to finish off with a smooth surface it is a good plan to dip the knife in hot water.
Decoration is very much a matter of taste - or skill. Very reasonable icing outfits can be bought, and with these a little practice only is needed to make a quite professional-looking cake. There are, however, many decorations to be bought, as perky robins, or a tiny Father Christmas, and when these are used a good edging can be made of crystalised lemon or orange slices, laid on so that they overlap. Coloured sweets, and marzipan fruits are used too, and now I see that attractive little tubes can be bought especially for cake decoration, filled with silver sweets, candied rose or violet petals, and so forth. It should be remembered that whatever you decide upon should be at hand when the cake is to be iced, so that the decoration can be put on before the icing is set.
ALMOND ICING: Add to 1 lb. of icing sugar the same quantity of ground almonds. Mix with 1 unbeaten egg, making all as fine as possible, adding a few drops of orange flower water, or rose water. Then turn the mixture on to a pastry board, adding more icing sugar, should it be necessary, to make it all of the same consistency as dough. Roll out carefully to the size of the cake, which should be lightly brushed first with white of egg before the paste is put on.
Some people do not care to use both a sugar and almond icing. If the almond icing alone is chosen it can be decorated with blanched and split almonds stuck plentifully over it.
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